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Last Comic Standing 4, Episode 11: Just Think Who We Could Have Gottenby Dale Sherman -- 08/09/2006
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The final week of Last Comic Standing 4 is upon us and as per typical we have two episodes to review. Wednesday, August 9th, will see the winner revealed for the fourth season of the program, but for now we kick off the show with Anthony Clark bringing out the three comics left in the competition – Josh, Chris, and Ty. As with last week, the three are told to leave before the vote is disclosed in order to eat up some network time with stand-up from other individuals. The surprise this time, however, is that it is Anthony Clark who does the comedy.
Clark drops into an accent as he discusses being from the south, Virginia, joining a Beverly Hills gang when moving to L.A. and natural disasters. After weeks of viewers wondering why we hadn’t seen Clark really cut loose with some material, we finally get a chance to see what he can do. As it is, Clark still seems a bit stiff and rushed, but I’ll give him a pass on that due to him having to switch from the host role to stand-up in a flash and trying to pay off as being funny after weeks of not being able to showcase any of his humor on the show. In other words, he was a bit hit and miss. Perhaps if he had more time to relax first and work through the material with more pace, it would have paid off better. Still, he got to do something for once, so I’m not going to dump on the guy for at least trying.
Clark next introduces the two finalists of the Online Comics competition, Josh Wolf and Theo Von. As Clark explains to the viewers, each will get a five minute set and then viewers can pick online who they think is the “Last Comic Downloaded.” I would guess that the “Last Naked Comic Downloaded” would probably be Sandra Bernhard (and she’s got the Playboy pictures to prove it), but that’s not what they’re asking for here.
Josh Wolf talks about marriage, how it affects his ability to talk to women, and how having kids make it impossible to have sex with the wife. He’s mildly funny. Theo decides to repeat his try-out act that he did at the beginning of the series, doing an age-old retread of dancers who act tough and a series of gags about his 70-year-old dad that he just beats into the ground to the point it sounds more like a fixation than jokes. After watching, one would wonder how these two got voted the best of the online comics over the others viewers could pick from, especially Theo, who comes off as someone reading jokes off cards at his first open mic. To paraphrase what one person who wrote to me about the show this past week said, if one didn’t know better, the online vote seems to be there just to prove to viewers that NBC and the producers really DID pick the best of the comics for their final twelve. “After all,” NBC would say, “look what you COULD have ended up with!”
To try and balance out the humor quota of the show after Josh Wolf and Theo Von are done, Anthony Clark introduces the special guest performer for the night, Paul Rodriguez. Rodriguez talks about race for the most part, with a pretty good bit about “Mexicans of other countries.” He goes on to talk about who will build the wall between the US and Mexico, liberals, his car, and the cost of gas. He’s pretty amusing, but he’s so quickly gone that one gets the feeling he did the gig as a favor (and maybe a check) instead of really being into giving a stand-out five minutes of his material. I’ve always liked Paul’s stuff, but I didn’t quite get the same buzz off of it as I typically do. That may be due to having to sit through the online comics’ sets before him, however.
Clark brings the three finalists back out and – to cut to the chase without all the tension for readers here – Chris Porter is the comic who is leaving this episode. I had predicted Chris would be next, thanks to his rather tense last two sets, combined with a statement in Episode 10 where he dismissed online viewers for not liking one of his sets in what could have been seen as a rather flip manner. One comment made to me after my review last week was the thought that I must not like Chris and I must say here that I actually did enjoy his work earlier in the series. I certainly don’t want to sound as if I did not like his comedy. Rather, I just found his “Final Five” sets as being off; like the stress was getting to him and forcing him to not work through the material to the best of his abilities. Thus, I’m not surprised that he is good, but I’m not happy either.
With Chris gone, Ty and Josh are the two remaining comics in the competition. Josh goes first for the final sets and says that he is pumped to be there. He first impersonates Animal from the Muppets, along with a quick Grover bit, then talks about being in an Earthquake. Looking back at the show, Josh pokes fun at Stella and Gabriel and it is the highlight of his set. He then moves back into material about his handicap, while taking a quick jab at the other comics about “genital jokes.” As always, Josh comes off well and prepared, with, I believe, one repeated joke in the set from all of his times onstage during the series.
Ty performs the final competitive set of the series by discussing the subway in New York, compliments to someone who doesn’t have anything complementary to mention about them (a gag he did in his try-out; albeit a funny one), women and their makeovers, race, the Tooth Fairy for adults, and average see students. It’s good material, but unfortunately, Ty went back and used a lot of gags that he had already done before. That will cost him, along with ending on a good gag that just had a rushed delivery and didn’t quite pay off. That’s a shame, as Ty really came through in the past few weeks as being someone I enjoyed watching. Truth be told, if Ty had a comedy special on, I probably would go out of my way to watch it. I liked the jokes he had and his smooth delivery in telling his material. Saying all that, tonight just was not his night to win the competition and his choice of material was part of his undoing.
Of the two final comics, I would definitely have to go with Josh Blue. Blue was an earlier contender for the role by many viewers, and it appears that there will not be many surprises tomorrow, when the Last Comic Standing is announced in the finale of the series.
With that, we’ll meet up again tomorrow to take a look at the 90-min. special NBC will air at 8:00 pm EST on August 9th. On the final program, we’ll see a look back at the twelve finalists, including a return visit from all twelve, as well as comedy from the winners of LCS1, 2 & 3: Dat Phan, John Heffron, and Alonzo Boden, as well as a special guest appearance from LCS creator and former host, Jay Mohr!
Until tomorrow, as always, BRING BACK KLAUS!
You can e-mail Dale about this column or his other projects at email@example.com. You can also click here to buy his book, The Urban Legends of Rock and Roll: You Never Can Tell, or any of his other books. Dale also writes weekly recaps for the Ohio Valley Wrestling shows at their official website.
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